And, after everything, it was us that stayed after the campers had been ushered into the back of their parents' cars, trying to feel content with our mere hour of peace before the next busload arrived.
I only hoped one day Tasha would end up as a camp counselor, forced to endure the mood of the brattiest kid of them all without punching anybody in the face. Then, maybe, she'd feel a little bit sorry for me.
"Beavers, come on in!" Shany, the bubbly director at the front of the dining hall, beckoned over the neighbouring cabin. "And who's going to be next? Which cabin's standing in the straightest line?"
There was a great deal of shuffling from the other groups as they squeezed themselves into tighter single files. Unsurprisingly, Tasha remained defiant, standing with her arms folded and the moody look a permanent feature.
"Moose Cabin, you guys can come on in! And Bears! Come eat."
The calling continued, leaving the numbers outside to dwindle, until we reached the usual dinnertime scenario: the eleven of us left as latecomers, a pathetic group of pleading faces and one angry blonde.
"Last again, guys!" Shany called cheerfully, unaware of how the kids would likely take this news. "Better luck next time. Come on in."
Had I been a calm and composed counselor, with a group of well-behaved and under-control girls, I probably would've led them in single file. And yet my hopes were crushed when Tasha broke into a run, her pounding footsteps up the stairs triggering the other girls into motion. They tore past me in seconds, stampeding toward the door until I was the only one left.
Shany smiled, half sympathetically, but half in a way that read get your shit together. "Tough cabin, huh?"
"Something like that," I said, trying not to grimace as I headed inside.
Fueled by the excitement of dinner, the dining hall was a warzone, and my cabin table was no exception. As I walked in, I couldn't help but spare a longing glance over to the staff table; in doing so, I caught the eye of my best friend, Seb, who was already digging into his food. He shot me a grin, eyes glinting, that only seemed to rub it in further.
Seb and I had both been sent off on the staff bus a month beforehand, each against our will and at the insistence of our parents. He had the terrible misfortune of being Tasha's older brother, and had been forced into camp for reasons little other than keeping an eye on her. That should've been his job description, but somehow he'd been lucky enough to land lifeguarding responsibilities over camp counseling, while my own horrible luck had left me the main overseer of Tasha's cabin.
Needless to say, my summer was sucking a lot more than his.
At my table, Tasha and a couple of other girls had commandeered the cutlery pot, throwing knives and forks in the direction of their bunkmates with worrying inaccuracy. I wanted nothing more than to turn and head in the opposite direction, away from them all, but it wasn't like I had a lot of choice.
"Hey, guys, careful with those," I said on the approach, as a fork went skidding off the table and clattered to the floor. "Let's try not to take somebody's eye out before dinner."
At the front of the hall, over by the kitchen hatch, the food was starting to be dished out into cabin-sized portions. They all knew how the system worked - we'd gone over it at every meal this week - and yet ensuring our food got to the table without major casualties continued to feel like Mission Impossible.
YOU ARE READING
Camp RunawayTeen Fiction
Seb and Ellie have three things in common: (1) They've both been forced into spending their summer as counselors at Camp Raukawee, Manitoba. (2) Approximately twenty-three hours of their days are spent listening to screaming children. (3) Given the...